Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Richard D. Komistek

Committee Members

Mohamed R. Mahfouz, Phani K. Nukala, William R. Hamel, Kevin M. Kit


This dissertation focuses on the development of a computationally efficient and fast method that incorporates the kinematics obtained from fluoroscopy and extends it to the prediction of the in-vivo contact mechanics at the femoro-tibial articulation in modern knee implants for the deep knee bend activity. In this endeavor, this dissertation deals with the use of an inverse dynamic rigid body model characterizing the slip and roll behavior observed in the femoro-polyethylene articulation and a coupled deformation model where the polyethylene in knee implants are modeled as hexahedral discrete element networks. The performance of this method is tested by comparing force predictions from a telemetric knee and finite element analysis. Finally, the method is applied to study the in vivo contact mechanics and mechanics of the quadriceps mechanism in six popular knee designs. During the deep knee bend activity, the contact force generally increased with flexion. However, the medial lateral forces were not equally distributed and the medial lateral force distribution generally varied from 60%- 40% at full extension to as high as 75%-25% at full flexion in some patients. Also, the magnitude of axial force in the superior-inferior direction was the highest and was found to contribute around 98%-99% of the total load acting at the femorotibial joint. The forces in the medio-lateral and antero-posterior directions were low and the maximum magnitude observed was around 0.5BW. The contact areas and contact pressures were much more sensitive to the geometries involved and the in vivo kinematics. Though no definite pattern was observed for the variation of the contact areas throughout flexion, the contact pressures increased in both condyles with increasing flexion. Also, the contact pressures on the medial condyle were higher than the contact pressures observed in the lateral condyle. The patellofemoral and the quadriceps force ratio increased with the increase in flexion while the patellar ligament and the quadriceps force ratio decreased with increasing flexion. In some patients at high flexion, the quadriceps force and as a result the patellofemoral, patellar ligament and the knee contact forces were found to decrease due to the wrapping of the quadriceps coupled with posterior movement of the femoral condyles leading to the increase in the quadriceps moment arm.

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